I Am The Avalanche

Avalanche United

Written by: PP on 27/10/2011 05:32:21

I Am The Avalanche is the brainchild of Vinnie Caruana, the iconic frontman of seminal pop punkers The Movielife, the influential band who were active around the switch of the millennium. I Am The Avalanche released only one, self-titled album in 2005, which was a bland and in many ways uninspired affair that appealed to few despite Caruana's cherished status from his previous band. The lack of success probably contributed to the fact that it took them six years to come up with a follow-up, "Avalanche United", only their second album since the formation of the band.

It seems that some space and time away was exactly what I Am The Avalanche needed, because "Avalanche United" is miles better than their debut album. The band come out the gate roaring with a convincing rough-around-the-edges punk rock assault, one that's directly comparable to the excellent Make Do And Mend album due to its honesty-driven, passionate melodies that turn into catchy anthems on songs like "Amsterdam" and "I'll Be Back Around". The former is easily one of the best songs this year, and the latter doesn't come short either. Balancing on a fine line between singing and screaming, Caruana delivers the sort of vocal performance throughout the album that highlights why The Movielife were so beloved during their heyday. It's a gruff, gravelly type of yell, one that translates into unforgettable vocal melodies that are so simple yet so darn effective. I believe the word 'urgency' best describes what's going on here. The rest of the band, too, delivers a punk rock performance that's by-the-books Hot Water Music inspired, but one that signals a hard work ethic and passion for the songs, something that was largely missing from their debut album.

The only downside to the album is its weak third quarter, which lacks flagship songs like the ones mentioned or "The Place You Love Is Gone" towards the end of the disc, the sort of cuts that'll have you ruining your voice while attempting to sing along to Caruana's rough melodies. That's why I'm hesitant to award it an equal grade to the Make Do And Mend album, even though in places "Avalanche United" is at least on par, if not better. In any case, fans of HWM-inspired gravelly punk rock are having one hell of a year in 2011: I Am The Avalanche have written a solid album in the genre that's so far the best in their career. Here's hoping for the next one landing before 2017.

8

Download: Amsterdam, I'll Be Back Around, The Place You Love Is Gone
For the fans of: Make Do And Mend, Daytrader, Balance & Composure, Hot Water Music
Listen: Soundcloud

Release date 11.10.2011
I Surrender Records

Amsterdam by I Am The Avalanche

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